May 24, 2009

Doggy Paddlin'

I have lots of time to think lately. I try to avoid it as much as possible but sometimes as the hours and days drag by I find myself stuck in a thought or idea with nothing to do but pursue it. 
    Before I had cancer. I was very good at avoiding such scary and difficult topics. It was too depressing to think of what it would be like if something like that ever happened to me or someone I loved. In fact I doubt I would even read a blog like this one unless it was someone I was very close to. Much easier to avoid such a sad topic.        I compare it to an icy cold lake. I would walk near the water’s edge and maybe dip my toes in the cold water but I am not a very good swimmer so I would only swim near the shallow area where I can still touch the bottom. Never think of venturing out to the deep areas too distant from the safe shore.       Well seven months ago someone came and threw me out in the middle of the lake. I spluttered and thrashed and doggy paddled trying to come to grips with this new reality and not drown in the overwhelming circumstances I have been thrown into. I am not superwoman and there are times when I come close to drowning in self pity. In fact today I made a list in my journal of all the things I have lost because of cancer. As my list grew the tears begin to flow. In fact, I think that lake is made of the tears I have cried over the last seven months. Sitting there looking at my list a thought came to me like a light bulb turning on. I wasn’t left alone in the deep waters of the lake. The Lord had thrown out some life preservers before I even got there. He had prepared some things in my life before cancer became my reality.       I can look back and see things being orchestrated in a way that makes this journey more bearable. I think of the timing. If I had been diagnosed a year earlier, I would have been going through treatments during preparations for my sons marriage. I would have missed my daughters High school graduation. Because of the circumstances this year, my daughter was able to arrange her college schedule so she could help more at home.      In September we moved our Martial Arts studio from a studio in our back yard to main street. Eventually making it easier to rearrange my preschool after my diagnosis. My oldest son has been able to help run the studio. I was able to hire a preschool teacher who would eventually count on the income when her husband lost his job several months later. Also for the first year ever, there is an assistant principal at the school where my husband is principal. Thereby lightening his load. And probably the biggest one is the fact that my Dr.- Dr. Tricot a top Myeloma Researcher and Specialist in the country moved from Arkansas to Huntsman a year and a half ago. Those are just a few examples of the little miracles or life preservers that were put in place before I even got thrown out in this lake.       I am still out in the deep, and the water is still cold, but I have a life preserver and the Lord is watching out for me. I have to quite thrashing around so much and trust in the Lord. He has a plan for me and He makes preparations on my behalf before I am even aware of it.       I am a terrible swimmer and a slow learner. I am sure there will be days ahead where I will still be doggy paddlin’ and “cryin’ a river” in my cold lake, but for today I am going to make another list in my journal of some of the life preservers I have been given and practice the back stroke.

May 20, 2009

One day at a time

Well here I am 33 days out from my second transplant. What a journey it has been. Harder than I ever dreamed it would be. I am gaining my health back ever so slowly! Last Wednesday I was able to go home for a few days. It was Joe's birthday so my daughter came and got me and snuck me home. Joe was completely surprised when he walked in the house and saw me there. It was so good to be home. I was able to get a few things done while I lay in bed. It was tempting to stay, however after a couple days we knew I was not yet ready physically, emotionally, or mentally. So I am back up to my parents home. I am trying to be patient with myself. Every morning I want to just jump out of bed and move doing the normal routines in a day. Instead I slowly shuffle around the house and spend most of my time resting as my body continues to regain it's strength. Joe reminds me to just take it one day at a time.

May 15, 2009

Preschool Plug

I am starting to think beyond one day at a time and beginning to plan my future. I have put serious thought into my plans for preschool next year. I am told that my immunities as well as my energy level will still remain quite low for another year. So with that information I have made the decision to hire one of my past preschool teachers to run my preschool for me next year.  Hopefully after the new year I may be able to help.  Teresa has taught for me for four years and I have great confidence in her abilities to take this ball and run with it. So If you or anyone you know is interested please let them know. Here is a little information about my program Kris Kelly-/teacher/owner  Certified Teacher-BYU graduate Taught at BYU's Preschool Lab.  Has over 16 years experience teaching  and developing preschool curriculum. Several of her teaching ideas have been published in a national educational  magazine. Loves finding innovative ways to teach young children and seeing them progress as they learn new skills.
Teresa Veater-teacher
Veteran Preschool teacher with over 22 years experience working with preschoolers in the classroom as well as Nebo School District's Transistional Kindergarten program. Her organized yet gentle approach will help your child to gain independence and educational skills for future success.
Country Kids Preschool
is an established preschool in Spanish Fork for the past fourteen years.  We offer a full academic program in a unique preschool setting.  A classroom as well as a large gym area provide many opportunities to educate the whole child.
We offer;
*Developmentally appropriate activities with a hands on approach.
*Small class sizes, 8-10 children per class.
*Thematic units organized to teach basic skills while learning about the world around us.
*Monthly parent newsletter and calendar.
*Alphabet introduction focuses on using all the senses to explore recognize, and remember the letters and sounds.
*Math and number exploration through manipulatives, patterning, sorting, and calendaring.
*Large and fine motor skill practice through games and activities.
Two and three day sessions available
Contact Teresa 801-423-1888
or Kris 801-798-6146  for more info.
(Thanks for letting me share and advertise this important part of my life)

May 08, 2009

99.9%

I met with Dr. Tricot this morning. All my lab work came back with great results. The myeloma cells are 99.9% gone and my white blood cells, hemoglobin, and platelets have recovered significantly. If I had more energy I would be jumping for joy. I am now set to begin maintenance therapy for the next year. Hopefully I can recover quickly enough to begin enjoying it. Strangely enough my biggest issue right now is food! I just have no appetite. I have been on anti nausea medication but it makes me so tired. Now I am trying medicine to increase my appetite. How I ironic! I've spent my whole life trying to lose those last ten pounds and now I have to force myself to eat and gain weight! This afternoon I was pleasantly surprised by a visit from my husband. I didn't think I would get to see him and the kids until Sunday, but he drove up and spent a few hours with me today. He always lifts my spirits and gives the best back rubs. I could not ask for a better husband, father to our children, and best friend. I know this year has been so hard for him. Having to juggle responsibilities as a school principal, running a martial arts studio, being there for our kids and just making sure everything keeps running smoothly. I always knew he was amazing but now I know he is definitely my super hero! All my Love Joe, Love, Kris

May 03, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now

So much to express. So Little energy to do so! Yesterday-Saturday May 2nd, I was released from the U of U Hospital. I was there ten days. It is all a blur now-of pain, side effects, Trying to eat when my mouth is too sore to swallow. Trying to get up and move when I am too weak to stand. Trying to stay connected to my family when I can't remember anything. I feel like I have been in a big black hole that I am just now starting to find my way out of. Into sunshine and coherency. I have been told that I had about every side effect possible-Lucky me! One crazy one began right after the stem cell transplant when my hands and feet began to swell and turn red. They felt like when you freeze your hands out in the snow and then come into thaw them out and get that prickly pain feelng. I figure it felt like that for 30 hours without much pain relief. As soon as that began to subside and the skin began to peel off in big sheets than I was blessed with different side effects. This is all so crazy! I have always been very healthy. When I go to the hospital, I bring home a new baby! This time I bring home a new perspective, and new hope for a long remission and opportunities for a new life. I am so grateful for all those who have prayed for me. I know He listens to those prayers even when I am too weak to pray for myself. I am humbled by the kindness, concern, and love of others. Thank you.

What I Needed Someone to Tell Me

  Painting "Hinds Feet" by Daniel F. Gerhartz Two women I know were diagnosed with cancer this week.  My heart goes out to them an...